Dr. Catherine Grace "Cady" Coleman (born December 14, 1960) is an American chemist, a former United States Air Force officer, and a current NASA astronaut. She is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions, and departed the International Space Station on May 23, 2011, as a crew member of Expedition 27 after logging 159 days in space.
Coleman graduated from Wilbert Tucker Woodson High School, Fairfax, Virginia, in 1978. In 1978–1979 she was an exchange student at Røyken upper secondary school in Norway with the AFS Intercultural Programs. She received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983, and a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1991 as a member of the Air Force ROTC. She was a member of the intercollegiate crew and was a resident of Baker House.
Coleman was selected by NASA in 1992 to join the NASA Astronaut Corps. In 1995 she was a member of the STS-73 crew on the scientific mission USML-1 with experiments including biotechnology, combustion science and the physics of fluids. During the flight, she reported to Houston Mission Control that she had spotted an unidentified flying object. She also trained for the mission STS-83 to be the backup for Donald A. Thomas; however, as he recovered on time, she did not fly that mission. STS-93 was Coleman's second space flight in 1999. She was mission specialist in charge of deploying the Chandra X-ray Observatory and its Inertial Upper Stage out of the shuttle's cargo bay. Coleman served as Chief of Robotics for the Astronaut Office, to include robotic arm operations and training for all Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. In October 2004, Coleman served as an aquanaut during the NEEMO 7 mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory, living and working underwater for eleven days. Coleman was assigned as a backup U.S. crew member for Expeditions 19, 20 and 21 and served as a backup crew member for Expeditions 24 and 25 as part of her training for Expedition 26. Coleman launched on December 15, 2010 (December 16 Baikonur time), aboard Soyuz TMA-20 to join the Expedition 26 mission aboard the International Space Station.
STS-73 on Space Shuttle Columbia (October 20 to November 5, 1995) Coleman orbited the Earth 256 times, traveled over 6 million miles, and logged a total of 15 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds in space.
STS-93 on Columbia (July 22 to 27, 1999) Mission duration was 118 hours and 50 minutes.
Soyuz TMA-20 / Expedition 26/27 (December 15, 2010, to May 23, 2011)